Zigic is told to stand tall


Nikola Zigic has received the backing of Birmingham manager Chris Hughton and team-mate Keith Fahey following his costly penalty miss in Birmingham's 1-0 Europa League defeat in Braga.

The Serbian had City's golden opportunity of a dominant opening quarter at Estadio Municipal de Braga on Wednesday night after Wade Elliott was brought down by Ewerton in the area after just 11 minutes.

With regular penalty taker Marlon King dropped to the bench the responsibility was taken up by his attacking replacement Zigic, who felt confident enough to nominate himself in the heat of the moment with the decision not made beforehand.

Yet the 6ft 8in forward could only watch as Braga goalkeeper Quim dived to his left to parry the ball, and Blues were made to pay shortly after half-time as the hosts benefited from a match-winning piece of fortune as Hugo Viana's strike took a generous deflection off Curtis Davies to beat Boaz Myhill.

But Hughton refused to question his decision not to start with King, who scored from the spot in the club's previous Group H match against Club Brugge to secure a 2-2 draw.

"If it wasn't Nikola who took it then it would have been someone else," Hughton said. "If Marlon had been on the pitch there's no guarantee he would have scored. Nikola's a good striker of the ball and you just hope when you get that situation that he scores, unfortunately for us he didn't."

Midfielder Fahey backed Zigic to respond in the right way. "Ziggy's taken it, he's confident enough to take it but unfortunately the keeper saved it," the Republic of Ireland international said.

"He's missed a couple of chances lately but he showed his character on Saturday [against Blackpool], missing a couple and then popping up to get the equaliser. So he'll bounce back."

Defeat, combined with Club Brugge's sensational comeback to clinch a 4-3 victory over Maribor, has left qualification for the knockout stages of the Europa League out of Birmingham's hands with one match remaining.

The Midlanders must beat bottom side Maribor at St Andrew's and hope Braga, who have sealed their progression into the last 32, beat Brugge in Belgium. It also leaves the very real possibility that the Championship club, who have risen to the challenge of European football after a summer of change and off-field struggles, could reach the 10-point mark considered enough to progress but still bow out.

'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London